Internet, Marketing, social media, Travel & Tourism

Graph Search is something people might just love

By William Bakker | 01.16.13 | 1 Comment

In 2010 I wrote that Tripadvisor’s integration of Facebook connect offered a glimpse into the future. Well the future is here.

Graph Search, announced yesterday by Facebook, is a new way of searching. It’s using taking your social graph and the content shared on Facebook as the basis of relevancy. Graph Search will allow you to search for things based on your personal network of friends, your ‘friends-of-friends’ or Facebook users in general.

You can soon search on Facebook for “restaurants in San Francisco liked by people who live in San Francisco”.

Or “restaurants in San Francisco my friends like”.

Or “restaurants in San Francisco liked by my friends who live in San Francisco.”

Or “Restaurants in San Francisco liked by my friends from India”


The possibilities are endless.

The travel decision process is going to be massively influenced when Facebook users adopt this kind of functionality. Because travel product is a heavy used item on Facebook. People check in, share photos and like places they’ve been all the time.

A whole new world of discovery and travel inspiration might open up. Imagine searching for “Places people check-in who like scuba diving”

Or “Cities people check-in who like art”

Or “festivals people like who like Greenday”

Or “pictures from my friends in Berlin”

Yesterday I also read a nice post by a Techcrunch writer about a recent frustrating trip to the new MySpace. This part caught my attention and made me think.

Wait, how does Myspace know I would like these?Is everyone seeing the same ones? Did Justin pick them out for me? Are my friends listening to these guys? I have no context here. I don’t understand why they’re recommended. I decide to move on.


I mean really, I logged in with Facebook – would it have killed you to look through my “likes” for a bit of personalization here?

A Techcrunch writer is obviously ahead of the curve. But what’s happening here is that people are starting to expect websites to personalize based on their previous behaviour and what they or their friends like on Facebook.

I remember being freaked out when Amazon recommended me books based on my previous purchases. Or when a laptop bag followed me around the internet thanks to remarketing. But that’s a long time ago. I don’t get freaked out anymore. We’ve gotten used to it. We even like it. We get mad when we see ads that aren’t relevant. And Facebook’s Graph Search might just deliver exactly the functionality at the right time. And travel and tourism marketing will never be the same. You better get ready.


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